Your accomplishments aren’t tied to your worth.
Even though you care deeply about your creative work, it has nothing to do with your own personal value. If you haven’t accomplished as much as you hoped this year, or received the accolades that you were dreaming about, it doesn’t mean you’re a failure. You’ve been putting your heart and soul into your work. You’ve been trying your hardest. You should be proud of yourself, even if your goals weren’t accomplished this year, because it takes guts to put yourself out there. It’s brave to even try.
Comparing yourself to others is only going to hurt you.
Your journey is different than everyone around you. You might move at a slower pace than some of your peers, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough. It doesn’t mean you are a lost cause. Instead of comparing yourself to the people around you—which can lead you to hate yourself and them—you need to start appreciating the other creatives in your world. Use them as motivation. Be happy for them instead of wishing you were them.
No matter what happens, you always have next year.
If you didn’t accomplish what you wanted this year, then there’s always next year. You have plenty of time to continue working on projects that you haven’t had the opportunity to finish. Even though the end of the year feels like the closing of a chapter, January 1st is only another day. There’s nothing special about it, so don’t kick yourself for failing to finish something by that arbitrary date.
Your world doesn’t revolve around your work.
Even though your art might feel like the most important thing in your world, you had other things to worry about this year. You might have had to focus on family members and friends or your own mental health. Putting energy into other areas of your life isn’t a waste. Even though you might not have accomplished everything you wanted creatively, you had plenty of accomplishments outside of your work. And staying alive is one of them. Despite how hard it was, you made it to today. You should be proud of yourself for that.
You should never feel guilty for resting.
Don’t be annoyed with yourself for how many days you’ve taken off this year. Remember, you don’t have to earn a break. If you’re not in the mood to get up and go to work, you’re allowed to rest for a while. You don’t want to push yourself to the point of burning out. You need to be gentle with yourself. Otherwise, you’re going to end up in an unhealthy space – and that will make it even harder to be creative.
You’re doing better than you realize.
Think of where you were a few years ago. Now think of how much better you’ve gotten at your craft since then. Even though you might not have reached your biggest goals yet, you’re growing as an artist. You’re learning more every single year. You’re getting there. It just might take a little more time.